August 15, 2018
Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
Finding the best employees is always on the mind of the modern recruiter. As the battle for top talent heats up and the job market begins to tighten a bit, organizations need to go above and beyond to attract the best talent. The times of desperate job seekers spamming their resume wherever they can post it are coming to a close as job openings turn into a buyer’s market. It’s a whole lot more convenient for today’s job seeker to be a bit more patient when researching their next career move.
Because of this, it’s important for organizations to create an attractive work environment that aligns with the personal and professional interests of the top talent they hope to attract. Sure, free lunch and ping pong tables sound great, but the modern job seeker wants something more – they want to feel like a contributing member of the team in a healthy environment that stokes innovation and creativity. Everyone wants to enjoy the place that they work. After all, we spend more time at work than anywhere else in most cases.
Employer review sites like Glassdoor have become increasingly common in recent years and while it may be frightening to open yourself up to the possibility of negative reviews, if you aren’t giving job seekers a chance to see into your workplace, you could be missing out on the top talent that everyone’s after.
One of the most beneficial aspects of online reviews is the opportunity to build credibility. This is especially important as a smaller organization.
I’ll give you an example:
Let’s say you’re on the market for a new flashlight. You’ve narrowed down your list to two of your favorite flashlights and decide to be an educated consumer, so you look up some reviews of these two flashlights. One of the flashlights has over 2,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 and the other only has one 4-star review. Most people would be more likely to purchase the flashlight with more reviews because they would see it as a reassurance that the flashlight is high-quality.
This is scenario is playing out every day on websites like Glassdoor. If your organization isn’t leveraging the power of online reviews, you could be missing out on some serious talent.
Now, let’s be clear about something – you don’t need 2,000 reviews to appear legitimate. But what is the number? How many reviews would it take to level out your perception of the flashlights above? 20? 200?
If we approach the topic of online reviews like the legitimacy indicator that most consumers perceive them to be, we can begin to build an army of advocates that review our organization based upon their experience with us. As long as we deliver on the back-end, those reviews should be fairly positive – helping us attract and retain highly skilled and talented employees. But what happens if we open ourselves up to reviews and someone leaves the dreaded “one-star” rant?
As an employer, you never want to hear that your applicants had a poor experience while interviewing for your organization. It is especially distressing to learn that your employees experience a bad working environment.
Ultimately, you want to paint a beautiful picture of your organization – making it as attractive to prospective employees as possible, but if a disgruntled former employee leaves a poor review, the last thing you should do is leave the comment open to interpretation, or worse… delete it.
These types of reviews are an important opportunity to showcase transparency and highlight that your organization values feedback. No one is perfect. No organization is perfect either. But everyone expects to be heard and showcasing your willingness to go above and beyond to address the concerns of a negative review will go a long way to show who you are as an employer brand. When browsing reviews, a reader will typically read not only the review, but also your response to the review – and a strong response can offset a bad review.
When it comes to responding to your online reviews, there’s more than one way to write a great one. It’s always best to appear genuine and authentic so it’s best not to use a standard template for each response, else you sound repetitive to readers that review multiple online reviews. Your response should depend upon the review, context, and of course the nature of business that your organization conducts. It’s important to keep in mind the tone and writing style that your organization has adopted and portrays in things like social media posts and printed marketing materials.
While a template may not be the right way to go, there are a handful of best practices you can follow and use as a guide when crafting your well written responses.
This may seem a bit basic but it can have a substantial impact. At the very least, using the name of the reviewer (if available) can go a long way to show that the following response is more than just some canned marketing lingo.
Let the reviewer know that you appreciate their honest feedback. Regardless of the review, it’s important that your organization has the opportunity to absorb feedback from your applicants and employees. A simple “thank you” can go a long way in your attempt to spin your reviews in a positive light.
The last thing you want to do when crafting a beautiful response to an online review is compromise the entire message by straying off course. It can seem confrontational and unprofessional if you begin to address items unrelated to the actual issue within the negative review. Staying on track and writing a short, succinct response can help you address the issue at hand while positioning your brand in a positive light.
The next time you’re browsing around on LinkedIn or Glassdoor and come across a negative statement toward an organization, think about how you might respond if it were your organization. The practice of responding to online reviews will help you build trust with those reading your responses. And you never know who might be reading.
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